Thursday, April 17, 2008


A tiny picture of Mavis Staples, size doesn't matter, it's what's in the heart that counts.

The book arrived in the mail today, Wonderful! my next few days are spoken for, [though I just spent a scanning&photoshop day going through my BMW slides, I'll find a way to post that lot later.]
I immediately went to the 'Songs of protest' [p.22 for those wot's interested] I'm glad that Dorian's next book deals with this topic, it prompted me to do a 'Spotlight' on that title and I came up with the list that I'd mentioned here earlier. It's the list of songs I made at the start of the war, I thought it might generate a bit of discussion. Here's the memo I sent to my mates at the station:

Dear colleagues: Given the times we're living in I feel that we need to balance
some of the propaganda and jingoism that we're being bombarded with. I've assembled
a CD of songs that are specifically anti-war, pro human and positive. Please use them.
The following are the contents:


1. Joan Baez - Turn me Around. 02.42 [From Every Stage - A&M]
2. Jackson Brown - Lives in the Ballance. 04,10 [Lives in the Balance - Asylum]
3. Ruben Blades - The calm before the Storm. 04.38 [Nothing but the Truth - Elektra]
4. Jimmy Cliff - Come on People. 02.52 [Struggling Man - Island]
5. Gil Scot Heron - Washington DC. 04.20 [Moving Target - Arista]
6. Joni Mitchell - The Fiddle and the Drum. 02.49 [Clouds - Reprise]
7. Jackson Brown - 'Til I go Down. 04.17 [Lives in the Balance - Asylum]
8. Randy Newman - Song for the Dead. 03.02 [Trouble in Paradise - W/Bros]
9. Christy Moore - The Unfinished Revolution. 03.58 [Christy Moore - Atlantic]
10. Bob Marley & Wailers - Check out the Real Situation. 03.05 [Uprising - Island]
11. Jackson Brown - Soldier of Plenty. 04.36 [Lives in the Balance - Asylum]
12. Phil Ochs - One More Parade. 03.04 [All the News that's fit to Sing - Elektra]
13. Christy Moore - No Time for Love. 04.41 [Christy Moore - Atlantic]
14. Eva Cassidy - Imagine. 04.33 [Imagine - Blix Street]
15. Magpie - The Power and the Glory, 03.04 [The Songs of Phil Ochs - Sliced Bread]
16. Emperor Haille Selassie of Ethiopia, speech at the UN, 1964, "The causes of war".
Could be used occasionally as an intro to #17 which evolved from it. 01.32. *
17. Bob Marley & Wailers - War. 03.34 [Rastaman Vibration - Island]*
18. Sonia Rutstein - Is there Anybody Here? 04.04 [Songs of Phil Ochs - Sliced Bread]
19. Jackson Brown - The World in Motion. 04.21 [World in Motion - Elektra]
20. Jackson Brown - When the StoneTurns. 04.52 [World in Motion - Elektra]
21. Jimmy Cliff - Remake the World. 02.43 [Follow my Mind - W/Bros]

I've labelled the CD as "Songs of Protest" and it's on the shelf in Studio A.

*If you want to use these two together just set the player to "continous" and let them flow from
16 into 17. Selassie won't make much sense by himself since it's such a short clip.

Thanks to Katie for her assistance in assembling this CD.


I'm sure this group can add to that list and I'd love to see your input.


Blimpy said...

Which war are we talking about here?

ejaydee said...

I'm gonna take a wild guess and say the Vietnam war, unless maybe it's the Biafran War or the 6-day war.

nilpferd said...

Didn't know they had cds back then EJ..;-)
I'd go for Desert Storm or Enduring (sic) Freedom..

ejaydee said...

I am but a smarty pants fool, I thought the list was compiled much much earlier than the CD

ejaydee said...
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Mr DNA said...

Eva Cassidy's Imagine didn’t come out until 2002, so I think it’s probably one of our current imbroglios.

FP said...

Ashamed to say I don't know any of these much so shall enjoy checking them out. I'm a big fan of Mavis Staples though. My favourite protest song is: Mercy Mercy me (The Ecology) by the eternal Marvin Gaye. It just lists all the shit we've done to this poor planet of ours. But so elegantly. Enough to turn me green.

Mr DNA said...

It's Not Easy Being Green.

ejaydee said...

Can you elaborate please, it sounds a bit more Blackburn than Brennan. Is this your Disco DJ tag?

ejaydee said...
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goneforeign said...

Yeah Ejay, that's me and that was my program, midnight 'til 2am every Saturday for 6+ years and it was indeed our current mess.
I inherited the name of the show, my preference would have been 'My favourite things'.
Enough about that, what songs belong on this list?

steenbeck said...

I just found these two interesting compilations produced by Cornel West. I have a Cornel West story...sometimes when it's very hot of a summer evening, we'll take the boys over to Princeton to let them swim in the fountain there. One such evening, Isaac had just clambered soaking wet out of the water when who should go rushing by as if late for something important? Cornel West! he stopped, looked at Isaac, and the two of them beamed at each other as if they'd discovered a kindred spirit. Then he said "you have a little blessing from god," and rushed on his way.

Anyway, he's compiled a few CDs, but these two recent ones look very interesting to me. One is mostly hip hop or R & B, and I'm not sure that all of the songs are protest songs, but they're framed in that way for this...

The other is longer and not exclusively hip hop (Laura Cantrell! Kimya Dawsono! In fact, looking through it it might have a little something for many RRers) but seemingly more protest-oriented....

Looks like some very interesting material. I haven't heard much of it. I have (predictably) heard the T. Kweli and it's (predictably) very good. Anyway, sorry for the length of this comment, but they both seem worth a look.

treefrogdemon said...

'I Ain't Marching Any More' - that covers lots of wars.

I got very excited once during the Chechen war cos I read a headline that said something like 'Russian Mothers Go to Front to Reclaim Their Sons' and I was thinking, yay, if mothers all went and asked for their sons (and daughters) back there wouldn't be any more wars, because who would fight in them?...but when I read the article I found that it was their sons' bodies they were fetching.

Blimpy said...

My recommendation is "Heard Someone Say" by Devendra Banhart.

Here's the lyrics:

I heard somebody say
That the war ended today
But everyone knows it's goin' still

Our motherlands and motherseas
Here's what we believe
It's simple
We don't want to kill

I heard somebody say
That the war ended today
But everyone knows its goin' still

Our motherlands and motherseas
Here's what we believe
It's simple
We don't want to kill

Oh, it's simple
We don't want to kill
Oh, it's simple
We don't want to kill
Oh, it's simple


ejaydee said...

No room for A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall or Masters Of War?

goneforeign said...

I'm sure there's tons more I could have included but I did that on impulse, I just started grabbing anything I could see from my iTunes, there wasn't a lot of thought behind it. I'm intrigued by the list in the book, several there I don't know and I'm looking forward to Dorian's next effort.

saneshane said...

I'm looking forwards to Dorians take on it..
My schizophrenia managed getting together with my partner at the anti-war demo in London.
This year.. 5th anniversary together.. same day remembering an unjust war..typical.
But Jens Lekman wrote 'I met her at the anti-war demonstration' so it's not all bad!!!!

I like Metric 'Monster Hospital'
'I fought the war and the war won..'